Fiber analysis - qualitative

Fiber analysis – qualitative analysis on the type of fibre

DIN CEN ISO / TR 11827 describes a set of methods for determining the quality of fiber types. These include microscopic procedures and chemical processes such as combustion. At CTL® GmbH,  these standard procedures are supplemented by our own tests, which we have established through our experience.

Test description

When you buy an expensive cashmere jumper, whether as a consumer or a retailer, you expect the stated cashmere content in it. If you buy a wool jumper, it should not turn out to be polyacrylic. Legislation has clearly stated that all textiles in the EU must be labelled and that labelling must be accurate to within 3%. If your labelling is different, your product can be taken off the market.

If, with a declared composition of 60% polyester and 40% cotton, your product actually contains 55% polyester and 45% cotton, it will already be deemed unfit for sale.

We can help you know what you are selling. We test for you and we know the labelling regulations. So we can tell you what to put on your label to guarantee a safe product.

Fibres can be roughly divided into two different types: natural fibres, which are harvested from nature, and synthetic fibres. Natural fibres include plant fibres such as cotton, linen, kapok, sisal and other plant fibres. Animal hairs are also natural fibres and used in textiles: wool, cashmere, angora, alpaca and many more. In addition, silk is used, which is an animal fibre, but not a hair, but a secretion.

In contrast to the natural fibres, synthetic fibres are artificially produced. The raw materials can still be of natural origin, as for instance in the case of viscose. Here, cellulose from wood pulp is used to produce viscose. Examples for well-known synthetic fibres, made of synthetic raw materials, are: polyester, poyamide, polyacrylic or polypropylene.

Recently, novel fibres are used more frequently. These include bi-component fibres. Elastomultiester is one of them. These fibres consist of two different areas within one fibre. The unique structure creates special properties. Elastomultiester, for example, acquires an elasticity that neither region would have on their own.

But how can these fibres be identified? Not all fibres look the same. Cotton fibres are twisted, linen fibers have nodes and a bamboo-stem-like structure, wool fibres have scales on the surface, and viscose fibres have longitudinal stripes. Most synthetic fibers are completely smooth but they differ in other ways. Polyester can be produced, for example, as a round fiber, as a flat, oval fiber, as a hollow fiber or in several other variants.

In the Textile Labelling Regulation 1007/2011, which stipulates the labelling of textiles in the EU, Annex I lists the types of fibers that may currently be present on a labelling. There are currently 50 types of fibres on this list. We can identify all common fibre types, and for instance distinguish cashmere from wool.

We mostly identify the fibre types by means of microscopy. In doing so, we use the methods described in DIN CEN ISO / TR 11827. At the same time, we use carefully validated in-house procedures that we have developed over our years in business.


  • Fiber analysis – qualitative on bast fiber
  • Fiber analysis – qualitative on cotton
  • Fiber analysis – qualitative on cashmere
  • Fiber analysis – qualitative on wool
  • Fiber analysis – qualitatively based on regenerated cellulose fiber
  • Fiber analysis – qualitative on silk
  • Fiber analysis – qualitative on synthetic fiber
  • Fiber analysis – qualitative on elastane
  • Fiber analysis – qualitative on metal fiber
  • Fiber analysis – qualitative on merino wool
  • Fiber analysis – fiber thickness microscopically
  • Fiber Analysis – Inspection of the fiber cross-section

Required material for the test

  • About 2 g of each component
  • If the composition of an entire article is to be determined, at least 1 entire article is necessary

Additional Tips

Even if something consists of 100% one type of fiber, it must always be thoroughly checked that there are no impurities or foreign fibres. Especially with recycled products, you often find unwanted foreign fibres, which can cause difficulties in the labeling.

How do we work

Our workflow



At the beginning, we clarify the scope of testing, the goal of the tests and, if applicable, the project requirements with the customer.



We prepare a quotation based on the scope of testing and the requirements



The order is clear and as soon as the test sample is received in the laboratory, we get straight to work with the sample.


Submitted test reports

The results are available in the form of a test report. In addition to the pure test result, an overall assessment according to legal, general or customer-specific requirements is possible.

Let us work together now

Our service is tailor-made for you, Give us a try! CTL® GmbH – the laboratory at your side